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this is chuck hagel, the former republican senator from nebraska. look at some of his answers. >> i should have used another term, and i'm sorry. i would like to go back and change the words and the meaning. the bigger point is, what i was saying, i think -- what i meant to say, should have said, is recognizable. it's been recognized, is recognized. well, i said it. and i don't remember the context or when i said it. well, i said what i said. i said many, many things over many years. that's what i should have said. and thank you. >> secretary panetta, many of those answers did not satisfy a lot of republicans. senator roy blunt is going to vote no. he said his answers were too inconsistent particularly related to iran and israel. marco rubio said i've been deeply concerned about his plef previous comments. john barrasso, he appeared weak and wobbly. are you concerned? >> well, everyone you quoted is a republican, and it's pretty obvious that the political knives were out for chuck hagel. >> and you think that was totally personal, partisan? >> well, what disappointed me is they talked a lot abo
hagel. he said the hearings should have been less political and partisan and more about the tough issues hagel would face. >> what about what a secretary of defense is confronting today, what about the war in afghanistan, the war on terrorism, what about the budget sequester and the impact it's going to have on readiness? what about the middle east turmoil? what about cyber attacks? all of the issues that confront a secretary of defense, frankly, those were -- we just did not see enough time spent on discussing those issues. >> you can see chuck todd's full interview with defense secretary leon panetta and with the joint chiefs chairman general martin dempsey tomorrow on "meet the press." >>> up next the 15-year-old who was nominated for the nobel peace prize. >>> a passing to note tonight, andre cassagnes inventor of the beloved etch a sketch has died in france. he came up with the idea in the 1950s and since then more than a hundred million have been sold. he was 86 years old. >>> some good news tonight on what started as a tragic story. malala yousufzai, the 15-year-old pakistani girl
of this. >> also, a bit of a tough week in washington if you're looking at chuck hagel this week with those hearings. will he end up in fact, being confirmed. >> i think he's going to end up getting confirmed. i spoke to roy blunt. who said he will vote no on hagel but not support a filibuster. we know a second senator from the state is going to join him. he has the votes to get confirmed. the bigger question now, erica, and it's a topic we're going to discuss today, is he politically strong enough to do the things that need to be done in the defense department? there's going to be some huge budget battles. considering how badly he was treated by republicans and this relationship being as bad as it is, can he be effective in the job? and i think that's now an open question. >> open one. we'll check back to see what's coming up with you on "meet the press". >>> now an update of the other top stories. tom, good morning. >> good morning, lester, erica, good morning, everyone. and a scary ride home. the over sized charter bus hit a low overpass sending 34 to the hospital. one in crit
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